Ever a Derby Winner With Better Credentials Than Nyquist?Read this article
Grade 3 Beaumont Comes Up Short, But Features Potential Star
The handicapping public may find it difficult to get worked into a lather over the five-horse field set to contest the Grade 3 Beaumont Stakes Sunday, April 17 at Keeneland, but there’s at least one filly worth keeping a close eye one.
Lightstream is listed as the 2/1 second choice on the morning line in the seven furlong event. If she stays that price, it may represent a golden betting opportunity. The Brian Lynch trainee has only a single start and a maiden win to her credit, but what a win it was. Breaking from the one-hole, a difficult task for any first-time starter, Lighstream broke slowly and was unhurried through moderate early fractions before reaching contention under jockey Julien Leparoux entering the turn. She quickly dispatched her rivals with a three-wide move earning a whopping 103 Beyer Speed Figure for the performance, which notably came at the seven furlong distance. Of equal note, the second and third-place horses from her debut both came back to win next-out. Even the most impressive of maiden winners can look ordinary when confronting better horses next-out, but this filly certainly appears to be special. Early tote action could tell the whole story.
Pletcher runner has early zip
Kinsley Kisses is the 9/5 morning line favorite for trainer Todd Pletcher after opening her career with a pair of seven furlong wins. The front-running daughter of Congrats recorded Beyer Figures of 86 and 74 in her last two starts. She will need to avoid a possible pace duel with R Girls a Charmer (5/2) who will break to her immediate inside.
Nickname holds experience edge
Nickname (4/1) is the most experienced filly in the field, but will need to find her best form after a pair of dull second-place finishes at Oaklawn. The Steve Asmussen trainee returns to Keeneland where she finished second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
For all the negative buzz about Nyquist's average speed figures and vulnerability, the newly crowned and much-deserving 2016 Kentucky Derby winner might just have the most impeccable credentials of any Derby winner in the illustrious history of the race - and certainly in the modern era.
On Friday at Churchill Downs, the field has been set for the 142nd running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks. The Grade 1 event, carded at a mile and an eighth, has drawn a full field of fourteen three-year-old fillies with one listed as an also-eligible.
With the final round of Kentucky Derby preps in the books, it seems improbable, but arguable that the March 12 Tampa Derby was the most useful and review-worthy of the 24 official point-bearing races in 2016.